Orange and Riverside County Join to Take Down Fentanyl Dealers, But Los Angeles Noticeably Absent

Written by William Hekman

Fentanyl has become one of the most dealt drugs in the United States. Between April 2020 and April 2021, over 60,000 people died of fentanyl or other synthetic opioid overdoses. Over 11,000 pounds of fentanyl have been seized at the U.S.-Mexico border this year. Because of the rise of fentanyl, Orange and Riverside County have joined together to bring justice to victims of fentanyl. 

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer and Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin announced last Tuesday that fentanyl dealers who deal fentanyl that results in death can be charged with murder. Spitzer said, “We have seen a 1,000% increase over the last five years as a result of overdoses and deaths by fentanyl. Rich, poor, Black, White, Brown, men, women, children, hardcore drug users and first-time drug users who are exposed have died.” Spitzer said that first time offenders can get a plea deal that requires the dealer to acknowledge the deadliness of fentanyl but if the dealer re-offends, they can be charged with second-degree murder. In Riverside County, Mike Hestrin is already prosecuting seven second degree murder cases regarding pill pushing with implied malice. San Bernardino County is also following suit of Orange and Riverside County as they filed their first murder case for a fentanyl dealer back in July.

But one county has been absent from this. Los Angeles county will not follow the surrounding counties. Alex Bastian, special adviser to the leftist D.A of Los Angeles George Gascon said, “We have been down this road before: we know that increased penalties for drug offenses do not save lives. Over the last three decades as we increased penalties, drugs became more potent, cheaper and easier to access. We need to learn from the failed strategies of the past, in order to find solutions for the future.” Gascon has been heavily criticized for his policies on criminal justice, primarily in regards to his decision to dissolve a number of gang units. 

Gascon should join his colleagues in bringing fentanyl dealers to justice. At a press conference for this crackdown Spitzer showed that a lethal dose of fentanyl can fit on the nose of Abraham Lincoln’s face on the penny.

Photo Cred: Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG